• NOS4A2
    4.8k


    Does it work this way for other rights? Doesn't restraining or injuring or even killing someone who is about to kill someone else violate their general right of bodily autonomy and freedom of movement?

    Rights are not absolute "bubbles" that extend a certain given distance at all times. They're rules that apportion a territory given by the circumstances.

    Yes it does but only because they are about to violate the general right of bodily autonomy and freedom of someone else. Rather, one defends these rights and freedoms by stopping people from trampling on them and denying them of others. I don't the same cannot be said of forcing someone to provide the conditions for someone else's free self-expression of actualization.
  • Echarmion
    2.2k
    Yes it does but only because they are about to violate the general right of bodily autonomy and freedom of someone else. Rather, one defends these rights and freedoms by stopping people from trampling on them and denying them of others. I don't the same cannot be said of forcing someone to provide the conditions for someone else's free self-expression of actualization.NOS4A2

    So let me simulate a little conversation between our two positions:

    I say: Bread is important for people, I think people should have a right to bread.
    You say: Why yes I agree. People should be allowed to freely buy bread, if they so wish, and noone should be allowed to take their bread away.
    I say: But if bread is important to people, then surely we ought to make sure everyone actually gets bread.
    You say: But that means taking away bread from people who already have it, and this violates their right to bread, which you agree they should have.


    So taking the metaphor, my question to you is: What about the people who can't get bread? Do they not get bread just because they happened to not have any when we implemented this rule?
  • James Riley
    1.2k


    I am currently struggling with what it is I should care about.

    I have created for myself a situation that is about as close to what it is I think you would like to have, as is possible in the world today. A couple of thoughts come to mind: In my cat-bird seat, many would have me be concerned about the affairs of man, simply because I am a man, and because I am supposed to have empathy for my fellow man. I am partially persuaded by their thinking, not simply for the logic of it, but, believe it or not, I actually do have empathy. So, should I limit my concern for my fellow Americans, who have it relatively good, like me, and in which case I would probably limit my actions to voting? Or should I go over seas, take up arms and engage the POS-statists who really do impose themselves upon my fellow man? Or should I simply encourage my state to do the heavy lifting for me when it comes to POS-statists overseas?

    Do you, NOS, really feel imposed-upon by your state? And, just for the sake of argument, would you be satisfied with a state that could impose upon you but which does not do so? Or do you not want a state to even have the capability/power to impose upon you if it felt like it? Those are two vastly different situations, and vastly different "asks."

    When I hear the champions of the oppressed appeal, or demand, that I care about their specific area of concern, I hear some pretty compelling cases. Yet I also hear the Earth crying out from under the weight of the whole human race, and I feel that to champion her is, ultimately, in the best interest of the human race. So the idea of helping people seems inimical to helping people, unless that help is directed at the Earth upon which others (non-humans and humans) depend.

    How much of the individualist's fear of the state is simply a fear that more justice for someone else means less justice for them; as if it were a pie? How much of their fear of the state is a fear that if the state works for others, it will be working against them/the individual? I'm reminded of a meme that shows your typical Trump supporter all armed up to the teeth and saying "I will not live in fear!" Below that is a list of 30 people/groups/things that his ilk seem to be afraid of (sharing power with). Is he not me, in the cat-bird seat, unwilling to let those 30 types of people/groups/things have the same civil liberties that he has? If their individual liberty boat rises, will his lower? And if so, who's fault will that have been? Personally, I understand where he is coming from. But he's personally offensive to me and seems like a POS. I'm no fan of the other side either, but I can understand their point even more.

    So, why should I give a shit about any of them or any of their concerns? If I find them all offensive, why can't I turn my back on them, stand on their bones and sacrifices, and live my life in peace?

    I'm inclined to toss my moral support to the oppressed, and let the POS learn empathy through experience. He's going to be a minority soon. If he insists on being a POS, well, the results will be interesting. If justice is a pie, "they" will be coming after me, too. Maybe I'll deserve what I get for having failed to take up their cause. Either way, I see a new generation on the way; it's going to be their planet, and if we don't like what they've become, we certainly won't be able to say that we knew how to raise them. That will be on us. Men like us don't blame others.

    I guess I'll just sit up here, resting on my laurels, but I won't look down upon them in derision or fear. And if I share, I will reduce my footprint and share with the Earth. Maybe people can thank me later. Or they can piss on my grave. LOL!

    White Privilege: it's real.
  • NOS4A2
    4.8k
    All power is illegitimate until it can prove itself legitimate. When a father leads his child across a street his authority need not be questioned. The relationship, the motivations, the behavior—all of it can prove the father’s authority over his child to be legitimate. When this principle is applied to the state, however, one can hardly find any reason why such an institution should reign over any individual, let alone to dictate his life and activities.

    From where, then, does the state gain its authority? Assuming that, like money, the state has no power of its own, it goes to follow that we in the West, with our nobles and parliaments and congresses, willingly and obsequiously furnish it power each time we head to the ballot-box to select which mammalian “representatives” should have the right to our thraldom. Where one may on some days think it absurd to choose others to run his life, come election time he falls in line seeking suffrage, only to receive a perversion of it. It is in this act, the vote, that we participate in the state’s aggrandizement, never our own. And no matter whether our guy or their guy sits upon the throne, the throne itself, perched parasitically upon the wealth, land and bodies of the people who live there, remains long after he has left it. This is because the transient power of our so-called representatives is always offset, if not negated, by the absolute power of the institution. Furthermore, if the body of legislations, prohibitions, and regulations increase far quicker than their repeal, as they always do, state power must grow in inverse proportion to our own. It’s statism all the way down.

    If one cannot justify state authority, if he believes with William Morris that no man is good enough to be another’s master, perhaps refusing to participate in the state’s aggrandizement is a first step to conscientious objection. But unless everyone refuses to vote this is not enough. One must, in a sense, vote through means not available in marking a slip of paper: with his influence, his voice, and his activity.

    In his Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, Etienne de la Boétie provides the only means of escape from this relationship without descending into another kind of tyranny, which is to simply refuse to obey.

    “Everyone knows that the fire from a little spark will increase and blaze ever higher as long as it finds wood to burn; yet without being quenched by water, but merely by finding no more fuel to feed on, it consumes itself, dies down, and is no longer a flame. Similarly, the more tyrants pillage, the more they crave, the more they ruin and destroy; the more one yields to them, and obeys them, by that much do they become mightier and more formidable, the readier to annihilate and destroy. But if not one thing is yielded to them, if, without any violence they are simply not obeyed, they become naked and undone and as nothing, just as, when the root receives no nourishment, the branch withers and dies.”

    Remember Shelley: “Ye are many—they are few!"

    Boétie’s sentiment precedes the civil disobedience of Thoreau and Satyagraha of Gandhi by centuries, but it is an idea seemingly unvanquished by state power and propaganda. At this point refusing to obey, and the many actions and reactions such a choice may entail, is all we have left.
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